At least there were a lot of solid funk and R & B records to choose from, including releases by Funkadelic, Michael Jackson, and Diana Ross. Trouble Funk brought the short-lived go-go fad to a mass audience with its debut album, and although Stevie Wonder's Secret Life Of Plants got panned by critics who were fed up with the three-year wait, in retrospect it's a fine listen.
Bummers? Elton John was probably the most prominent victim (ahem) of the disco craze, releasing his worst album ever - but Aretha Franklin was just as far off track. Weather Report's double live album should have proved to everyone that 70s jazz fusion was a mistake. ELP's live album wasn't much better. Almost nothing good came out of the 60s superstar machine: George Harrison's latest album was tripe, Smokey Robinson had an undeserved commercial comeback, and a lot of acts simply stayed quiet, including Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones, the Who, and even some New Wave leaders like Elvis Costello. And apart from the success of gimmick acts like the Knack ("My Sharona"), the weirdest story of all was Eagles, who dominated the charts with an amazingly crass and obnoxious send-off album. (JA)